Chinese 5 Spice Rolls

Chinese 5 Spice Rolls

Yeah, my daydreams look like this.


These are pretty much cinnamon rolls with a Charleston Spice Co. twist.

If you have ever wanted to make Cinnamon Rolls I urge you to follow that dream! People will tell you that cinnamon rolls are hard to make and just not worth the effort.

But they’re worth it.

The only hard part is planning ahead, these beauties take time.

Lucky for you, most of that time is not active time, unless you want to sit around and watch dough rise.

So grab life by the dough, roll it, paint it with Chinese 5 Spice, bake it, and smother it with cream cheese frosting.

Live your sweetest dreams.

Here’s what ya need, this recipe is from FoodieCrush with only very minor tweeks like, uh, using Chinese 5 Spice instead of cinnamon:

For  the dough

4 large eggs, at room temp

3/4 cup whole milk, warm (100-110ºF)

1/4 cup honey

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt

10 tablespoons butter, room temp, cut into 1 inch pieces

For filling

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 heaping tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

For icing

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp

4 ounces cream cheese, room temp

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons Ginger Sugar, optional

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Part One

Grease a large bowl and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup combine milk, eggs, and honey.

In your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, yeast, and salt ~ stir on low to combine. Add milk mixture and stir on low to combine. Slowly add butter one piece at a time. Once all the butter is added increase the speed to medium and beat until the pieces are all incorporated. Transfer the dough to your prepared bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Uncover, place your fingers underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and back over onto itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding action again about 6 to 8 times. Cover the bowl and let rise another 30 mins. Repeat the folding three more times for a total rise time of 2 hours. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.

Part Two

On a floured surface knead the dough 10 to 12 times. Shape it into a ball, sprinkle a little flour over top, cover with a tea towel and allow to come to room temperature.

Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, Chinese 5 Spice, and salt.

Roll out your dough into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle. Paint the dough with your melted butter and sprinkle on the Chinese 5 Spice mix. starting on the long side roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Position the dough seam side down and cut into pieces with a sharp knife or scissors. I cut mine into 11 pieces and thought they were a decent size. The fewer pieces you cut the larger your rolls, so listen to your heart. Place your pieces in the prepared ban, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway through until they are golden.

While the rolls are baking make your icing: In the bowl of your stand mixer beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla, ginger sugar, and salt and mix on low to combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low to combine. Scrape down the sides and mix until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the rolls from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Add a thin layer of icing to the rolls while they are warm so that it drips into all the cracks. Top with more icing and serve while still warm or even just at room temp! They will be great one to two days after baking if you manage to have a few left over after the first day.

Stay sweet,

Charleston Spice Co.

Chinese 5 Spice Rolls



You doesn’t love a little pastry wrapped treat?

Here’s a classic time-tested recipe for empanadas:

Make a double batch of this perfectly easy pastry recipe and let it chill while you make the filling:

1 tablespoon annatto oil, plus more for painting pastry ~ heat 1/4 cup annatto seeds in 1/2 cup olive oil remove from heat and let sit for 30 mins or until you remember you left it sitting somewhere in the kitchen…

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Chimayo Chili Blend

hot chili paste ~ to taste

1/2 pound ground beef

14 oz (1 can) diced tomato

1/2 teaspoon Adobo

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons pimento stuffed black olives

2 boiled eggs

Sau onions and garlic with annatto oil. Add Chimayo Chili Blend and pepper paste and cook a minute. Stir in beef, cook, breaking up lumps ~ about 4 minutes. Add raisins, olives, salt, Adobo, and tomatoes. Cook stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced but mixture is still moist. Spread on a plate to cool if using immediately ~ you can also refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Chop the boiled eggs and add to meat mixture right before making your empanadas.

I found that rolling out the dough a quarter at a time was the best way to get it as thinly rolled as I wanted, but you can do whatever you please! Cut it out in circles or squares or hearts, maybe you could do a dinosaur shape, that would be cool….. Whatever size and shape you choose to make, fill it up with a little meat mixture and stamp the edges closed with a fork. Brush tops with anatto oil.

Bake at 425°F for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator if you want to enjoy them another day. They can also be frozen if you want to enjoy them in a week or two.


Charleston Spice Co.






Perfectly Easy Pastry

This recipe is from one my go-to cookbooks, The Settlement Cookbook.

It’s a great book for the basics, like this pastry recipe:

1/2 cup shortening or butter, melted

1/4 cup cold water

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all dry ingredients. Mix together shortening and water and add to flour mixture. Stir until you have a smooth dough. Chill before rolling out on a lightly floured surface.

And that’s it, the rest is up to you.


Charleston Spice Co.

Brussels & Cauliflower roasted with Harissa

Harissa Cauliflower

This is just tasty.

Please try it.

The vinegar makes the cauliflower taste almost pickled!


In a bowl mix together equal parts olive oil and vinegar, add Harissa to taste (listen to your heart, the more you use, the bolder it will be).

Chop up your veggies, toss ’em in a bowl, pour in your Harissa mixture, and stir to coat. Let the veggies sit for a bit for more intense flavor or roast them up in the oven immediately at 450ºF.



Charleston Spice Co.



Breakfast Buns

With Easter right around the corner we looked up a recipe for Hot Cross Buns & found this recipe from King Arthur and thought we’d give it a go.

Breakfast Buns

But these buns shouldn’t be relegated to the spot of a once a year traditional treat, they deserve a place in the breakfast biscuit & dinner roll rotation! Light & fluffy & a little yeasty, we anticipate they will be easily adaptable i.e. bacon & cheddar in place of dried craisins and apples!

Here’s what ya need:


1/4 cup apple juice

1/2 cup dried craisins

1/2 cup dried apple pieces

1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature

3 large eggs, 1 separated

6 tablespoons of butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Poudre Douce

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 large egg white (reserved from above)

1 tablespoon milk

Lightly grease a 10×10 or 9×13 inch pan and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl mix craisins and apples. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until they are warm and plastic starts to shrink wrap itself to the container. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

When the fruit mixture is cool, combine all the dough ingredients except for the fruit. Knead with an electric mixer or a bread machine until a soft elastic dough is formed. Mix in the fruit!

Cover the dough and let rise for an hour, it will puff up but it may not double in size.

Grease your hands and divide dough into billiard ball size pieces, it’ll make about 12 to 14. Roll them into rounds and place them in your prepared pan.

Cover the pan and let them rise for an hour or until they’re puffed up and touching one another. While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 375ºF.

Whisk together the egg white and milk, brush over the buns.

Bake for 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.



Charleston Spice Co.

Quick Crumble Topping

crumble topping

This is a nice topping to whip up in a pinch. Throw it on top of yogurt or ice cream and *boom* you’ve got a fancy pants sweet treat with little to no effort!

Here’s how to make about 2 cups of crumble:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar

4 teaspoons coconut oil

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup chopped almonds

2-4 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 430°F.

Mix together flour and sugars. Cut in coconut oil with a fork, it may be easier to incorporate it by rubbing the mixture between your hands. Add the other ingredients and stir together until a loose dough forms.

Pour the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press the dough together into one big sheet – similar to shortbread. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, break up into chunks and let cool.

Stay sweet,


Charleston Spice Co.